Broome workshop to encourage action on domestic violence

Broome workshop to encourage action on domestic violence

Broome workshop to encourage action on domestic violence teaser

05 Aug 2020

Lifeline WA is working to build capacity among frontline workers in Broome to recognise, respond and refer cases of domestic and family violence through a free two-day workshop.

Indigenous people are more than twice as likely as non-Indigenous people to experience violence as victims or offenders, and the Indigenous DV-alert workshops aim to increase cultural awareness in community workers.

A key element in this process is having the workshops delivered in partnership with recognised Indigenous trainers.

Palyku-Bunaba-Walmajarri-Nyoongar woman Tara McCulloch, who will co-facilitate the upcoming Broome workshop, said better knowledge of Aboriginal cultural nuances among frontline workers would make Aboriginal people more likely to seek support.

“Being able to positively interact with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is a skill you can learn,” Ms McCulloch said.

“When you have those communication skills, non-verbal and verbal, it can play a huge role in how you can help support and provide positive outcomes for each client.”

In addition to improving Aboriginal cultural awareness, the workshops also improve the capacity of frontline workers to recognise the signs of DFV, respond with appropriate care and refer clients who are experiencing or at risk of DFV to relevant services.

The Indigenous DV-alert workshops are suitable for health, allied health, higher education, childcare and community frontline workers or volunteers supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Lifeline WA CEO Lorna MacGregor said the DV-alert sessions helped to address the stigma surrounding domestic violence.

“Unfortunately, domestic violence can still be seen by the community as a personal or family issue, and people are unsure whether or how they can intervene,” she said. 

“The workshops inform people about how to recognise the early signs of domestic violence, how to open up a conversation with someone who might be in an abusive relationship, how to support the person, and where to go for help.

“It’s really important for people to overcome their reluctance to intervene, as the consequences can be tragic if they don’t.”

Ms MacGregor said the rise in domestic violence incidents during COVID-19 demonstrated the risk it posed to people when they were more isolated.

The next Indigenous DV-alert workshop will be held at Broome Lotteries House on August 25 and 26 and is fully funded by the Department of Social Services.

Further workshops will be scheduled next year. For more information see here: www.dvalert.org.au

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